Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group was proposing changes to healthcare services across three acute trusts and community-based care across the county. This was an extensive and complex, highly political and sensitive programme of clinical services transformation work. Working as part of a consortium with McKinsey and Company, our brief was to lead the communications and engagement and support the co-design and development of proposals in the pre-consultation phase to create clinically and financially sustainable services across the county.
We developed and delivered a communications and engagement strategy, stakeholder mapping and stakeholder relations plan, core narrative and messaging, digital and printed collateral, media and social media activity, including training and support for key spokespeople. We provided communications and engagement advice to the Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body, Trust Boards and county-wide Programme Board. We planned, developed and provided communications and engagement support, collateral and activity for: the case for change, evaluation criteria development, design and development of the model of care, options development and consultation planning. The programme involved working with organisational leaders, over 600 clinicians, patients and members of the public, and multiple partners and stakeholders on a plan for reconfiguration of clinical services in highly complex and sometimes very contentious areas of service provision. We worked closely with Clinical Commissioning Group and Trust colleagues as a ‘matrix’ team to plan, lead and deliver effective communication and engagement activity. We also initiated, established and ran a Patient and Public Advisory Group and a Communications and Engagement Network Group across the county.
The review is seen nationally as a best-practice example of large scale transformation and service change. Our pre-consultation communications and engagement programme laid a strong foundation for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to move through regulator assurance to formal public consultation with established relationships, systems and processes to work with multiple stakeholders across many organisations to deliver change.Case studies